Newcastle boss Steve Bruce defiant over Saint-Maximin
There truly is no bigger key man at St. James’ Park than French spark plug Allan Saint-Maximin.
Since his arrival on Tyneside, the AS Saint-Étienne academy graduate struggled to find firm fitting and was billed as a mercenary as he travelled from one club to the next over a period of five years.
Stops at Hannover 96, SC Bastia, AS Monaco, OGC Nice, followed his departure from the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard. But the former French youth international has taken to life at Newcaatle under Steve Bruce like a house on fire, and is now viewed as arguably Newcastle’s most important attacking catalyst.
With his success has come interest from abroad, and Bruce has pulled no punches in his stance that Saint-Maximin is untouchable;
“I haven’t even had that conversation. And I don’t want that conversation as you can imagine.
Look, we don’t want to lose our best players. Allan is staying fit. He’s staying fit and well and the decision of putting him down the middle he’s enjoyed it immensely.
He can go both ways, and he’s played his fifth game/90 minutes this season. That’s more than he did the whole of last season.” [quotes via the Chronicle]
Not only has Saint-Maximin had a not for sale sign firmly planted on his forehead, but Bruce eluded to the mercurial Frenchman improving his fitness levels as well as adding another layer of tactical versatility to his CV in the wake of an injury crisis currently ripping through the Newcastle squad.
Unwanted transfer history must be avoided
Regardless of the importance that Saint-Maximin carries on the Newcastle tactics board, the documented history of Mike Ashley selling prized assets in January remains something that many Geordies will hope does not repeat.
Steve Bruce has been adamant once before in his insistence that Saint-Maximin is not up for sale earlier in the summer, but examples of January departures for the likes of Andy Carroll and Yohan Cabaye stand as a testament that Ashley will inevitable care more about the bottom pound note than how the club is able to perform on the pitch.
Should ASM continue to sparkle this season, interest in acquiring his services from a Newcastle ship that is already foundering off the coast in the North Sea as the club sit in the relegation zone is sure to grow.
This article was edited by Ben Browning.
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